Rohingya refugees still fleeing to Bangladesh with crisis in third month

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Rohingya families arrive at a UNHCR transit centre near the village of Anjuman Para, Cox's Bazar, south-east Bangladesh after spending four days stranded at the Myanmar border with some 6,800 refugees.  © UNHCR/Roger Arnold

In Bangladesh, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and our partners are providing urgent aid and seeking shelter for Rohingya refugees who arrived from Myanmar yesterday and on Wednesday.

According to the Bangladesh border guards, some 3,000 refugees arrived through the Anjuman Para border crossing between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. They waited in the paddy fields near the border, where Action Contre la Faim sent food and UNICEF distributed water from a boat. Médecins Sans Frontières identified and brought in people who needed urgent medical attention. UNHCR distributed tokens for relief supplies to be collected further inland when they find a place to settle.

As of this morning, more than 2,000 of them have moved towards UNHCR’s transit centre near Kutupalong camp, including some vulnerable refugees who were taken by bus. This comes as our staff just relocated over 400 recent arrivals to a new extension to Kutupalong camp.

At the transit centre, the new arrivals have been given health checks, food, water and basic supplies for a few days before they are relocated to Kutupalong Extension.

New arrivals who spent the night near the border are being directed towards Kutupalong Extension site today.

BANGLADESH - Transit centre is 'safe haven' for weary Rohingya family (Marc Hofer, Producer/Camera)

UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Türk concluded on Wednesday a visit to Myanmar, during which he reiterated UN calls for unrestricted humanitarian access to all communities in need in Rakhine State.

Türk stressed the right of return of refugees who fled from Rakhine State to Bangladesh over recent weeks and appealed for their safe, voluntary, and sustainable return home necessitating safety, protection and peaceful coexistence of all communities in Rakhine State.

UNHCR also emphasized the importance and the need for the robust and early involvement of development actors to engage and invest in community-based programmes in Rakhine State that create conditions that enable sustainable reintegration of returning refugees and benefit all communities in need.

Türk arrived to Bangladesh this morning where over the next four days he will visit refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar and meet with Bangladeshi authorities in Dhaka.
 
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